Charlie receives fourteen free passes to the circus for him and his entire family but soon realizes that there are strings attached as the big top's co-owner asks his guest to investigate threatening letters that he's received. Before the famous detective can, the man is murdered. Charlie soon finds out that the co-owner was not a particularly pleasant or well-liked individual, and among the many suspects are his partner, a snake charmer and the menagerie's gorilla. Son Lee, usually an enthusiastic assistant for his father, is distracted by the show's beautiful contortionist. Written by
This is not 'just' one of Charlie Chan's fascinating, intricate murder cases, but it's also set in very special surroundings: a circus show - and the circus atmosphere here is presented so wonderfully genuine that it really fills every circus fan with nostalgic feelings...
The whole Chan family (14 altogether...) have been invited to see the show by the circus' co-owner Joe Kinney; but not without a reason: he wants to show Charlie some threatening letters he's received. But before the show's even ended, Kinney is found murdered in his wagon - mysteriously bolted from the inside... And Charlie very soon finds out that it could have been almost any member of the circus ensemble who'd have liked to see him dead: he was a mean cheat who threatened to take away his co-owner's shares because the circus wasn't doing too well, he was rude, cruel and PRETTY unpopular with all his staff; and besides that, he was a reckless womanizer who simply used to drop his girl when he'd found another one.
And that was also the case with Nellie Farrell, whom he pushed off to the wardrobe department when he became sweet on trapeze artist Marie - but in the fight for his money, more things come to light: Kinney had been married to Nellie, according to a marriage license the police find in his safe. But Marie knows otherwise; and she promises to tell as soon as she'll have finished her trapeze act - that fact alone automatically makes our hair raise while we're awaiting her daring stunt that she always does without a net...
An incredible amount of suspense and a plot that demands a lot of our 'little gray cells' mixed with a fair amount of humor (son number one, Lee, who never can resist flirting, tries to impress a Chinese contortion artist...) - an unforgettable hour of entertainment and excitement, just like those good old-fashioned circus performances!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?